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Last year, Jonah Hill showed a new side of his talent when his directorial debut Mid90s was met with critical acclaim. Additionally, he had an incredible performance on Netflix’s Maniac alongside Superbad co-star Emma Stone. The actor has certainly branched out since his early days in modern classic comedic hits such as Knocked Up and This is The End, and it doesn’t look like he plans on going back to his roots in “bro” comedy any time to soon. As he recently revealed:
I love those films, but I also think that if you look back at those films, a lot of what they’re showing is major bro comedy, and bro masculinity. It’s not like a responsibility. It’s where my heart is, and what I want to make. But at the same time I’m learning I’ve got to unlearn a lot of stuff, and maybe some of the people that liked Superbad will come with me on that journey.
Jonah Hill has developed a mature approach to his work over the years and while he fondly looks back at the movies that jump started his career, he no longer wants to encourage the “bro masculinity” a.k.a. somewhat toxic masculinity depicted in many of those films.
As he recently explained to Variety, Jonah Hill doesn’t particularly feel a responsibility to steer away from these narratives, but as he’s grown up he’s recognized some of the problematic elements of the characters of his past and is moving forward as an actor by telling different kinds of stories.
A prime example of his interest in challenging traditional masculinity is through Mid90s, which he wrote the script for and directed. The film tells the coming-of-age story of a 13-year-old boy who starts hanging out with a new crowd from a local skate shop. He said he made the movie to bring to attention the harmful misogynistic and homophobic behaviors in teens language at the time, and how their inability to show emotion, sensitivity and vulnerability led to “terrible decisions.”
So while his breakout roles are classics and certainly still hilarious movies, the themes just don't hold up for Jonah Hill. So don’t expect Superbad 2 in the future. The actor has been moving away from bro comedies since his dramatic work in his Oscar nominated roles in 2011’s Moneyball and 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street and voice roles in LEGO and How to Train Your Dragon film series as Green Lantern and Snotlout respectively.
Hollywood’s demand for “bro comedies” has certainly shifted since 2007’s Superbad but let’s hope Jonah Hill returns to his beginnings in comedy someday in a project that is where his heart is and we would love to see him, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader and Emma Stone join in on the fun too!